This from an admittedly ancient (1999) Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
1. a careless, dirty, slovenly woman; slattern
2. a sexually promiscuous woman: a derogatory or insulting term
That’s it. It’s hard for this ignorant male to understand the maelstrom of criticism of a police officer who foolishly advised women wishing to avoid unwanted male attention, specifically the brutality of rape, “not to dress like sluts”. (Why would anyone want to?)
Forcing the officer to apologize abjectly was not enough. Parades of women, amazingly, dressed in what their own banners claimed was a slut parade. This bizarre attack on conventions of normal dress made a lot of press and generated a lot of heat and light, and apparently released a lot of anger in women.
If that anger had been directed against rapists, you would have my, and pretty much everyone else’s, support.
But it seemed to be directed against men in general, for assuming that a woman could mean to imply consent, or merely deliberately invite attention, by the manner of her dress.
Look at the definition again.
If I dress like a bank robber (mask) I can expect to be singled out by police, security, and the intelligent bank teller. (Probably the latter would notice first). I might get shot. That isn’t fair, but I altered the odds by my dress decision.
I ask all those who demonstrated so, er, explicitly, to answer these questions.
Why did nobody say, we don’t know what a slut is?
Why did nobody say, we don’t know what it means, to dress like a slut?
Why did nobody say, nobody ever dresses like a slut?
A bank robber would be advised by a (rogue) policeman to dress so as not to attract attention.
An elderly citizen (either gender) returning late from a bank machine in a bad neighbourhood would be advised by a (kindly) policeman not to move or talk so as to attract attention.
The point of the forced apology, and of the demonstrations, seems to me to be this: we (women) can wear anything (or nothing?) we want anywhere anytime and demand that all you (men) behave with complete respect.Talk to us.
That’s probably a reasonable hope for a highly civilized people. We are not a uniformly civilized people.